Nest Eggs

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2018.

Employer Retirement Plans

  • Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $18,500 in compensation in 2018 (up from $18,000 in 2017); employees age 50 and older can defer up to an additional $6,000 in 2018 (the same as in 2017).

  • Employees participating in a SIMPLE retirement plan can defer up to $12,500 in 2018 (the same as in 2017), and employees age 50 and older can defer up to an additional $3,000 in 2018 (the same as in 2017).

IRAs

The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged at $5,500 in 2018, with individuals age 50 and older able to contribute an additional $1,000. For individuals who are covered by a workplace retirement plan, the deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for the following modified adjusted gross income (AGI) ranges:

 

2017

2018

Single/Head of Household (HOH)

$62,000 - $72,000

$63,000 - $73,000

Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

$99,000 - $119,000

$101,000 - $121,000

Married Filing Separately (MFS)

$0 - $10,000

$0 - $10,000


Note: The 2018 phaseout range is $189,000 - $199,000 (up from $186,000 - $196,000 in 2017) when the individual making the IRA contribution is not covered by a workplace retirement plan but is filing jointly with a spouse who is covered.

The modified AGI phaseout ranges for individuals to make contributions to a Roth IRA are:

 

2017

2018

Single/Head of Household (HOH)

$118,000 - $133,000

$120,000 - $135,000

Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

$186,000 - $196,000

$189,000 - $199,000

Married Filing Separately (MFS)

$0 - $10,000

$0 - $10,000

 

Estate and gift tax

  • The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 is $15,000, up from $14,000 in 2017.

  • The gift and estate tax basic exclusion amount for 2018 is $11,200,000, up from $5,490,000 in 2017.

Personal exemption

There is no personal exemption amount for 2018; it was $4,050 in 2017. For 2018, there is no phaseout of personal exemptions or overall limit on itemized deductions once AGI exceeds certain thresholds.

For 2017, personal exemptions were phased out and itemized deductions were limited once AGI exceeded $261,500 (single), $287,650 (HOH), $313,800 (MFJ), or $156,900 (MFS).

Standard deduction

 

2017

2018

Single

$6,350

$12,000

Head of Household

$9,350

$18,000

Married Filing Jointly

$12,700

$24,000

Married Filing Separately

$6,350

$12,000


Note: The additional standard deduction amount for the blind or aged (age 65 or older) in 2018 is $1,600 (up from $1,550 in 2017) for single/HOH or $1,300 (up from $1,250 in 2017) for all other filing statuses. Special rules apply if you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

Alternative minimum tax (AMT)

 

2017

2018

Maximum AMT Exemption Amount

Single/Head of Household (HOH)

$54,300

$70,300

Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

$84,500

$109,400

Married Filing Separately (MFS)

$42,250

$54,700

Exemption Phase-Out Threshold

Single/Head of Household (HOH)

$120,700

$500,000

Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

$160,900

$1,000,000

Married Filing Separately (MFS)

$80,450

$500,000

26% Rate on AMTI* Up To This Amount, 28% Rate on AMTI Above This Amount

Married Filing Separately (MFS)

$93,900

$95,750

All Others

$187,800

$191,500

*Alternative Minimum Taxable Income


For more information on the matters discussed above, please contact MFA Asset Management.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2018